A circular was issued by the General Secretariat for the Council of Ministers directed to all public institutions and provinces that provides the urge to purchase the issues of Alsabah daily public newspaper.
The circular comes at a time when all press bodies are suffering from stagnation and are under a rising financial crisis because of the absence of any kind of legal protection or support. In addition to mismanagement of resources and finance. The policy of distributing advertisement that are considered a main tributary for any press body also needs reconsideration.
At the time that press freedom advocacy association expresses its discontent towards this directive, it affirms that this procedure is against constitution and is considered a violation since the government interferes with supporting and financing public press unlike independent bodies that suffer from poor resources once compared with the explosive budgets of the public financed media bodies.
The Association points out that the embargo imposed by the government upon independent media bodies resulted in diminishing their impact and minimizing their role. Especially that public departments refrain from publishing their ads through them, and many departments and public institutions exclusively publish in Alsabah public journal. At this point and after 15 years of adapting the post dictator political system, it is quite evident that the policy of marginalization of independent media remains to prevail through many practices and norms. In spite the fact that the latter is the most evident aspect of democracy in the state.
The association affirms that Iraqi Media Network that is financed by the federal budget, suffers from the government absorbing policy that leaves it reflecting solely the governmental direction and opinion thus it witnessed permanent changes in management and staff accordingly that reflected partisan whims.
The association urges COM to reconsider the circular and to enjoy the courage to issue laws that would secure the prosperity of independent media bodies by being nourished with ads in addition that Commission for Media and Communications applies its funding policy that is supposed to cover independent media to save what remains of the fourth authority in the country.